Rusty Day

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Address: Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412


Ph.D., 2012, University of Pau, France 
M.S., 2003, University of Charleston, South Carolina
B.S., 1996, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests

  • Biomonitoring of marine ecosystems and organismal health
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Coral stressors, health, and geochemistry
  • Isotopes, heavy metals, trace elements in the marine environment
  • Ocean acidification
  • Sea turtle ecotoxicology

Current and planned research projects: 

  • Monitoring ocean acidification on Pacific coral reefs using the boron isotope pH proxy in the skeletons of coral and calcified algae
  • Using coral cores to reconstruct century-scale changes in coastal water quality and pH in Hawaii
  • Characterization of coral growth anomaly disease in Porites compressa using multi-omics and skeletal chemistry
  • Assessing coral multi-omic responses to exposure to acidified water at a shallow water hydrothermal vent in the Mariana Islands
  • Collection and archival of biological specimens from coral reefs in American Samoa for watershed recovery monitoring


  • Holliday, Dawn K., Rusty D. Day, David W. Owens. In press. “Environmental Toxicology of Diamondback-backed Terrapins”, Ecology and Conservation of the Diamondback Terrapin Malaclemys terrapin, Book Chapter: 12. The John Hopkins University Press.
  • Day, Rusty D., Becker, Paul R., Donard, O.F.X, Pugh, Rebecca S., Wise, Stephen A. 2014. “Environmental Specimen Banks as a Resource for Mercury and Mercury Isotope Research in Marine Ecosystems”. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 16:10-27.
  • John, K., Pugh, R.S., Becker, P.R., Keller, J.M., Day, R.D., Yordy, J., Moors, A., Christopher, S.J., Bryan, C.E., Schwacke, L., Wells, R.S., Balmer, B.C., Hohn, A., Rowles, T. 2010. “Specimen Banking for Marine Animal Health Assessment”, In Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry – Environmental Specimen Bank, Eds., T. Isobe, K. Nomiyama, A. Subramanian and S. Tanabe, Terrapub, pp 15-23.
  • Day, R.D., Roseneau, D.G., Berail, S., Hobson, K.A., Donard, O.F.X., Vander Pol, S.S., Pugh, R.S., Moors, A., Long, S., Becker, P.R.. 2012. “Mercury Stable Isotopes in Seabird Eggs Reflect a Gradient from Terrestrial Geogenic to Oceanic Mercury Reservoirs”. Environmental Science and Technology, 46:5327-5335.
  • Day, R.D., Roseneau, D.G., Vander Pol, S.S., Hobson, K.A., Donard, O.F.X., Pugh, R.S., Moors, A., Becker, P.R. 2012. “Regional, Temporal, and Species Patterns of Mercury in Alaskan Seabird Eggs: Mercury Sources and Cycling or Food Web Effects?” Environmental Pollution, 166:226-232.
  • D. Point, J.E. Sonke, R.D. Day, D.G. Roseneau, K.A. Hobson, S.S. Vander Pol, A.J. Moors, R.S. Pugh, O.F.X. Donard, and P.R. Becker. 2011. “Methylmercury photodegradation influenced by sea-ice cover in Arctic marine ecosystems”. Nature Geosciences, 4:188-194.
  • Day, R.D, Keller, J.M., Harms, C.A., Segars, A.L., Cluse, W.M., Godfrey, M.H., Lee, A.M., Peden-Adams, M., Thorvalson, K., Dodd, M., Norton, T. 2010. “Comparison of Mercury Burdens in Chronically Debilitated and Healthy Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta)”. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46(1):111-117.
  • Day, R. D., Segars, A. L., Arendt, M. D., Lee, A. M., Peden-Adams, M. M. 2007. “Relationship of blood mercury levels to health parameters in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)”. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(10):1421-1428.
  • Day, R. D., Vander Pol, S. S., Christopher, S. J., Davis, W. C., Pugh, R. S., Simac, K. S., Roseneau, D. G., Becker, P. R. 2006. “Murre eggs (Uria aalge and U. lomvia) as indicators of mercury contamination in the Alaskan marine environment”. Environmental Science and Technology, 40:659-665.
  • Keller, J. M., Kannan, K., Taniyasu, S., Yamashita, N., Day, R. D., Arendt, M. D., Segar, A. L., Kucklick, J. R. 2005. “Perfluorooctanesulfonate and other related compounds in the plasma of loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from the southeastern coast of the U.S.”. Environmental Science and Technology, 39:9101-9108.
  • Day, R. D., Christopher, S. J., Becker, P. R. and Whitaker, D. W.  2005. Monitoring mercury in the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta. Environmental Science and Technology, 39:437-446.